Charlotte Dependent Personality Disorder Therapy

Dependent Personality Disorder in Charlotte, NC—Therapy and Counseling

Cinderella is a familiar story, but what may not be familiar to people is “The Cinderella Complex.” The young girl with blue eyes and blond hair is more than a fairytale. Her story is an illustration of what it means to live with Dependent Personality Disorder, also known as “The Cinderella Complex.” Think about her life. Cinderella complies with her stepsisters’ every whim. She accepts her stepmother’s criticisms without protest. Cinderella even relies upon others to rescue her—her animal friends and fairy Godmother. Then, once she is saved from her life of servitude, she continues to rely upon the prince for her livelihood. These are the primary symptoms of Dependent Personality Disorder. Many years ago, it was believed that only women suffered from “The Cinderella Complex,” but now, mental health professionals understand that Dependent Personality Disorder can develop in anyone.

When people have the disorder, they often have an acute desire to please those in authority. This desire is accompanied with low self-esteem and a yearning to be rescued or cared for by another person. The disorder introduces a number of difficulties into a person’s life. Most dramatically, it keeps people from living a self-reliant, unique life. Dependent Personality Disorder is a severe illness, but it is a disease that has treatment options. People with the disorder often learn how to live their own, independent lives.

“Every human has four endowments—self awareness, conscience, independent will and creative imagination. These give us the ultimate human freedom…
The power to choose, to respond, to change.”
—Stephen Covey

The therapists at Thriveworks Charlotte have worked with a number of clients who are fighting Dependent Personality Disorder. Independence is possible. With treatment, many people heal from the disorder and learn how to build a self-reliant life.

How Dependent Personality Disorder Evolves

When mental health professionals diagnose Dependent Personality Disorder, they must be aware of how it evolves and develops. Otherwise, certain developmental stages or cultural practices can be mistaken for the disorder. For example, certain cultures practice a respectful deference to elders and authority figures. This is not Dependent Personality Disorder. In the same vein, children and teens rely upon their parent or guardian for meeting some or all of their needs depending upon their age, but this dependency is developmentally appropriate—not a disorder.

What then is Dependent Personality Disorder? The disorder often shows itself when people should be transitioning from adolescence into adulthood. When people have the disorder, they often do not make that transition. That is why the disorder is rarely diagnosed before adulthood. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5) gives a full picture of what that dependency looks like.

Symptoms for Dependent Personality Disorder

The disorder affects every aspect of an individual’s life, including their belief system. Two beliefs, in particular, are present and perpetuate the disorder. First, people with the disorder come to believe that they cannot meet their own emotional and physical needs. The second belief is the other side of the same coin: people come to believe that other people must meet their needs. With these two thought patterns deeply ingrained, it can be difficult for people with Dependent Personality Disorder to have mutual relationships. Instead, the friendship eventually turns into a dependent relationship. People with the disorder are often clingy and anxious. They may be overly compliant and agreeable toward other people while being overly critical and denigrating toward themselves.

Dependent Personality Disorder (301.6[F70.7]) has three core symptoms:

  1. Anxiety when separated from care givers.
  2. Behavior that is overly deferential.
  3. A core need for someone to care for them.

In addition, five more of the following signs will be present:

  • Feeling discomfort with one’s individuality, independency, and uniqueness.
  • Consulting an authority or caregiver before making any choice—seeking out affirmation and guidance for choices that should be made on one’s own.
  • Turning over major areas of responsibility within one’s life to someone else (e.g., a parent who pays a child’s bills).
  • Fearing abandonment, especially by a caregiver or authority figure.
  • Acquiescing to what a caregiver or authority figure thinks or feels in order to secure their continued care.
  • When one authoritarian relationship ends, replacing it quickly with another one.
  • Difficulty establishing and maintaining mutual relationships where there is give-and-take instead of a one-sided dependence.
  • Downplaying one’s thoughts, feelings, preferences, opinions, and perspectives, especially in an attempt to satisfy other people.

It is easy to see how disruptive Dependent Personality Disorder can be. The disorder often causes personal and professional troubles. Because people with the disorder often lack initiative and confidence, they may have difficulty procuring and maintaining employment. Personally, they often have very small social connections and may even limit their relationships to those within their family. Further, the disorder increases an individual’s risk for other mental health disorders.

Scheduling Therapy for Dependent Personality Disorder at Thriveworks Charlotte

“You are constantly invited to be what you are.”
—Ralph Waldo Emerson


Part of the wonder of being an individual is being free to be who you are. When dependency steals someone’s individuality, it is okay to fight back. Dependent Personality Disorder has treatments. If you are ready to seek healing and an independent life, Thriveworks Charlotte is ready to meet with you. When you call our office, your first appointment may be the following day. We accept a variety of insurance plans, and we offer weekend and evening appointments. Call today.

Thriveworks Counseling Charlotte

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Overall Rating: 5★★★★★ based on 12 5 1 12 reviews. See all reviews
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Gabrielle Montez

Gabrielle is an amazing therapist. She is very empathetic to her clients and their needs. She can help you through what ever you are going through. Schedule with her! You will not be disappointed.
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Highly recommend

I have had the pleasure of working with Clair Crow professionally and can attest to what an incredible therapist she is! She has a calm demeanor and creates safety with her clients. She balances that safety and care with clear boundaries. I highly recommend her and have often referred clients to her for her expertise.
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Great Counselor

I've worked with Mrs. Matson for close to a year now and I can say with certainty that she's a great counselor to go to for help with emotional regulation and understanding, grief management, and processing trauma in healthy and beneficial ways. Her use of meditation techniques to get to the root of my emotions and habits have helped me understand so much about myself and why I operate the way I do. I'd definitely recommend her to anyone just starting out looking for a good counselor, or anyone looking for a friendly empathetic professional who listens well and draws from a wealth of information to provide really quality services.
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Good therapist

I have seen Dr. Daniel Stillwell for a year for individual and couples counseling and I trust him immensely. He is a skilled, authentic, and highly competent professional. I’ve also referred him to others and they described the same. Thriveworks staff have been very helpful with insurance and appointments.
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Caring and personal

Adriana Blanco is wonderful. I never felt any judgement from her during our sessions. She is compassionate, firm and extremely knowledgeable. I could not see myself opening up as much with another counselor, thank you for putting her in my path.
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Excellent service. Blair Hamel was so wonderful. She truly cares.
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Great place for healing

This is a very safe place. The therapists and staff are knowledgeable and patient. I have had a really positive experience and I am learning and growing.
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Genuine and Comfortable

Charlotte has a team of Therapists that are skilled and compassionate. Matt and Kim have taken great care to ensure that client care is a priority. The environment is warm and welcoming. This is a group of Counselors who can really relate to the everyday challenges we all experiences.
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Great people…great office

I am a big fan of Thriveworks! I have known Matt and Kim for some time now and I feel like I have known them forever. They are approachable, helpful, and just great people. Their office is comfortable and inviting. is a place where anyone can find a little peace. Give them a try :)
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Owners have great experience and are caring individuals.
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Not servicing patients

A place/facility that isn’t accepting any new patients. You rave about how you are here to help and treat people but really you aren’t at all. How is some one supposed to get help if you aren’t willing to help them. Very disappointed with Thriveworks and their lack of assisting.
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For my son

The service was fine. We came in for an evaluation for my son Bryant. Mrs. Hamel was professional and seemed to be able to talk with Bryant although his lips sometimes get in the way of being understood by others.
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Thriveworks Counseling & Child Therapy Charlotte

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  • 4412 Park Rd Suite B
    Charlotte, NC 28209

  • Mon-Fri:7AM-9:30PM

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